Archive | Politics

Some provisional reflections on the refugee situation

In the aftermath of the horror last weekend, a lively discussion has broken-out over the United States’s role in sheltering Syrian refugees. The issue came into focus shortly after the attacks when it was discovered that one of the Paris attackers was carrying a Syrian passport that was used to enter Europe through Greece as a refugee from Syria.

The United States has already taken in 1,800 refugees from Syria over the last few years. And President Obama intends to resettle about 10,000 more in the United States in the coming months. Just yesterday morning, President Obama reaffirmed that commitment and upbraided Senator Ted Cruz (though not by name) for suggesting a religious test for future refugees. The President insisted that our security procedures are sufficient and that the U.S. would go ahead as planned. Continue Reading →


Want to alienate pro-life voters? Attack a candidate for being “too extreme” in his views on abortion.

The New York Times reports that the Super PAC supporting Governor Jeb Bush is thinking about running ads criticizing Senator Marco Rubio for his views on abortion:

In an attempt to blunt Mr. Rubio’s appeal and showcase a potential vulnerability against the Democratic nominee in the general election, Mr. Murphy recently showed some Republicans a video portraying Mr. Rubio as too extreme on abortion. A longtime opponent of abortion rights, Mr. Rubio said in a debate in August that he had “never advocated” laws that would allow abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.

In other words, the Bush Super PAC is considering running ads criticizing Rubio for not supporting legal abortions in cases of rape and incest. Continue Reading →

Unjustified apoplexy over Ben Carson on “Morning Joe”

Let me begin what I am about to say with a couple caveats. First, I am not a supporter of Ben Carson’s bid for the GOP nomination. Not by a longshot. In fact, I think if he were the nominee, he would set the cause of conservatism back. Second, “Morning Joe” is one of my all-time favorite political programs. I listen to the commentary from Joe, Mika, and the others on a daily basis. It is a part of my daily routine that I really enjoy. Continue Reading →

Matt Bevin’s family tragedy and strong Christian faith

Earlier this evening, the news broke that Matt Bevin was elected as the next governor of Kentucky. As that news rippled across the country, what may not have been as well known is Bevin’s fervent Christian faith and connection to Southern Seminary where I teach. Several years ago, Bevin endowed our school’s center for global missions. This came about as a result of a devastating family tragedy. You can hear Bevin share the story above in his own words, or you can read Aaron Hanbury’s 2012 report below. Don’t miss this one. Continue Reading →

Trump tells voters he’s a “great Christian”

In the wake of sagging poll numbers in Iowa, Donald Trump assures Iowa voters that he is a “great Christian.” At a rally in Sioux City, he declared:

Will you get these numbers up? I promise you I will do such a good job. First of all, I am a great Christian. And I do well with the evangelicals, but the evangelicals let me down a little bit this month. I don’t know what I did.

NPR reports that Trump’s campaign has been handing out pictures of his 1959 confirmation ceremony in an attempt to establish his Christian bona fides.

I doubt that anyone is buying this. I’m not questioning the fact that he is Presbyterian or that he goes to Christian churches when he goes to church (which is very rare by his own admission). I am questioning the suggestion that what he means by Christian is what evangelicals mean by Christian. Continue Reading →

Throwing your money into a bureaucratic black hole

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed about Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million dollar gift to public schools in Newark, New Jersey. What happened to the money?

The Facebook founder negotiated his gift with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and then-Mayor Cory Booker in 2010, and it flowed into Newark’s public-school system shortly thereafter. The bulk of the funds supported consultants and the salaries and pensions of teachers and administrators, so the donation only reinforced the bureaucratic and political ills that have long plagued public education in the Garden State.

Mr. Zuckerberg is not the first private donor to fail at reforming public education by working with government—and he won’t be the last.

Did you get that? One-hundred million dollars just disappeared into a bureaucratic black hole. The money ended up being spent on the very bureaucracy that is so much to blame for the problems within public school systems. The op-ed concludes:

Philanthropists will not be able to change education and improve student outcomes unless they can circumvent the bureaucracies and interest groups that are responsible for the problems they hope to solve. If they act independently, though, their money has the potential to alter the lives not only of individual students, but entire communities.

What a cautionary tale. Read the rest here.

A brief word about the ACBC conference and the protest

This week I gave a couple of talks at the annual conference of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). The conference themes were transgender and homosexuality, and I gave one address on each topic. Rosaria Butterfield, Sam Allberry, Heath Lambert, Albert Mohler, Stuart Scott, Owen Strachan, and others also addressed the 2,000 people who gathered for the conference. Continue Reading →

Planned Parenthood’s problems have to do with facts that are not in dispute

I watched a good bit of the testimony that Cecile Richards offered to Congress yesterday, but I suspect that most Americans did not. Most Americans will view news reports about the hearings if they hear anything at all. That means that most Americans are going to be woefully under-informed about what happened yesterday. So let me give you the bottom line about what came out in the hearings.

1. Planned Parenthood harvests organs from aborted babies and gives those organs to researchers in exchange for money. Planned Parenthood disputes the claim that they “profit” from this exchange, but they do not dispute that the exchange happens. They provide the baby parts, and the researchers (or middle men) give them money for the parts. That is the bottom line confirmed again by yesterday’s hearings, and no one disputes those facts.

2. Planned Parenthood’s revenues exceed their expenses by $127 million dollars. This exchange between Representative Mick Mulvaney and Cecile Richards is particularly revealing:

Cecile Richards says that Planned Parenthood doesn’t profit from its work. And maybe in some technical, legal sense that is true. But most Americans know what it means that an organization’s revenues exceed expenses by $127 million dollars.

Congress may want to haggle over whether we should call this situation “profit” or “reinvestment.” They may want to argue with Richards about whether the exchange of baby parts for money is a “sale” or a “reimbursement.” But these are just arguments about nomenclature that at the end of the day conceal the reality of the undisputed facts.

Planned Parenthood kills over 300,000 unborn human beings every year. Planned Parenthood receives money in exchange for providing baby parts to researchers. Planned Parenthood’s revenues exceed expenses by $127 million dollars. American taxpayers are funding about 40% of the annual budget of our nation’s leading abortion provider.

Those are the facts, and they are not in dispute. And the undisputed facts should be enough to scandalize every conscience that confronts them.

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